by Curtis Deschambault
Today was an early day, I left my host family’s house at 6.00 am, and we had to be at to the SMP 12 to help plant trees. Dani and I picked up Mandy and Pasquelle at their house at 6.30 and left for SMP 12 Surabaya which took over 1 hour to get to because it is in West Surabaya. At SMP 12 we were going to help with one of the green activities that they planned which was, tree planting. We meet the students and divided into three groups, each group was asked to plant at least three trees. It was fun being able to do some physical labour and to work outside. My group ended up planting 12 trees. They were very enthusiastic about the planting which is nice to see and hopefully they can plant more trees around their homes.
Since I was with the girls again today, I got to ride in the car. The normal route I used to take with the motorbike was not the one we used with the car. The reason being that that route is not very fast by car, therefore, we used the toll roads to get there. Using the highway allowed me to see more of the landscape surrounding Surabaya. I noticed there were not very many trees but there were plenty of rice fields and other green vegetation growing. Maybe one of the empty fields could be converted into park that the city could use. This would allow people to travel only a short distant to find relaxing area were they can learn about the beauties of nature.
We returned back to the center of the city to the park, where the prince and princess of the environment contestants are camping. When we arrived the children were just finishing up the water monitoring workshop. Some of the children had to go pray before we headed to the water filtration plant, so the other children taught Pasquelle, Mandy and I how to play some traditional games. We were all pretty bad at on them involving a bouncy ball. The children have about ten tents setup for the 30 of them and they sleep in the park at night. They will be staying here until Sunday, May 24, where they will than be brought to the finals and the prince and princes of the environment will be crowned.
The last event we did for the day was to follow the children on a trip to the town water filtration plant. We used a bus to get to the plant it is the same bus we have been using to get the kids around to the different locations. At the water plant most the information giving was in Indonesian so I was unable to get all of it, but I did understand some. One of the surprising facts I learned was that the plant cleans the water so that it is clean enough to drink, however, when it reached the houses in Surabaya it is only safe for bathing and cooking. I was told this is because of the pipes infrastructure being so old that the clean water becomes dirtier during the trip. The cost to change all the pipes in Surabaya would be high but it is short term cost that would likely save money in the long run. Hopefully they can start small and have a few clean places and slowly spread.